When your home is full of clutter and chaos, it’s hard to rest and relax in it. It’s no longer a sanctuary or peaceful place for you to retreat in order to rest, recharge, relax, and find peace. One study found that having too many things can lead to low energy levels, poor quality of life, and the feeling that your home environment is an enemy instead of a safe place to relax.
Everything you own takes up some time or energy from you. First, you need to work to earn money to buy it, then shop for it, then take care of it – clean it, maintain it, repair it, etc. Even if you think it doesn’t take much time or energy to do those activities, trust me, every second counts. The more items you own, the more time you spend, and the less energy you have at the end of the day.
For the stuff you use regularly, it’s ok because they add value to your life in exchange for the time and energy they take from you, but clutter (the stuff you don’t use or love) simply takes time and energy without providing any value.
Every item in your home takes some space, making it feel crowded, cluttered, and overwhelming. And that’s fine for the things you use or love, but for clutter, there shouldn’t be any space.
This sneaky player can even make you feel like you need a bigger home or more space, but more often than not, you don’t need more space, you just need less stuff.
The most obvious psychological effect of clutter is the amount of stress that it adds to your life. Stress affects us in many ways, increasing blood pressure, slowing digestion, interfering with sleep, causing muscle tension and pain, and so on.
Although your response to stress can be helpful in life or death situations, when is often triggered by clutter (non-life or death situation), it negatively affects your life. When your home itself becomes a trigger for stress, you experience deteriorated well-being.
According to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people with cluttered homes full of unfinished projects are more fatigued, depressed, and have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
For many people, a cluttered home can negatively affect their mood, leaving them depressed, anxious, and unhappy.
People living in cluttered homes are more likely to make less healthy food choices because the clutter makes them feel stressed and overwhelmed.
explains Dr. Eva Shalhoub.
Researchers found that participants in an orderly environment chose healthier snacks than those in a cluttered environment.
The more clutter we have, the more dust will be on it, therefore our homes will become amplifiers for breathing problems. As things pile up, more dust is generated. And the harder it is to access different areas of our home to clean, the more serious these respiratory issues can develop.
Clutter affects productivity. Even the smallest amount of clutter can be a distraction. When your environment is cluttered, your ability to focus decreases significantly. In other words, a desk full of papers, pens, electronic gadgets, snacks, etc. will probably beat out any kind of productivity you had planned for the day.
Clutter sneaks up on you. If you don’t make a conscious effort every day, your home will soon be cluttered. And in a cluttered home, it’s hard to find things. If you can’t find them, you might buy a duplicate. (Just think about how many scissors, keychains, pens, and pencils you have in your junk drawer).
Buying duplicates, combined with spending money on things you don’t need, can get you into debt, and then keep you there for a long time.
I need this, I need that. You have an excuse for every little thing, but to fill a house from floor to ceiling with new possessions takes a lot of money, and sometimes you’re using money you don’t have. Clutter and debt seem to go hand in hand.
Studies have shown that compulsive hoarders have higher divorce rates. They have a perceived need to save every little thing, and just the thought of parting with their belongings is terrifying. This can put the other partner in a difficult situation (especially if it’s not a hoarder), and take a toll on the marriage.
But the negative impact on marriage is not limited only to hoarders, couples with cluttered homes can also be more negative, angry, and irritated towards each other.
Your friends want to hang out, but you need to clean your home. The next time they call you again, but you need to wash your clothes. The third time they will just skip you.
A survey conducted by Russell Research found that nearly half of surveyed homeowners said they wouldn’t invite friends over if their home is cluttered.
Clutter literally placed you on an isolated island.
No one likes to feel helpless. We all want to be in command of our lives. But clutter steals that control away from us. It makes us late, it makes us less productive, it makes us a worse partner, friend, and employee. It makes us feel irritated and weighted down by life’s pressures, and it ruins our health.
Everything you do will be easier without clutter, therefore take control over your life and clutter, and you’ll be amazed at the positive effects upon your life.
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